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Freedom of the Press

Freedom of Opinion

 On November 18th Mussolini made a speech to the Italian Fascist Party in which he claimed that the Italian war bulletins were truthful and fair statements of Italian as well as British war losses.

 Commenting on this speech in its editorial for November 19th, the Daily Express compares the position of the Press in this country with its position in Italy and Germany and Russia, quite rightly pointing out how impossible it is for any criticism of the Government to obtain publicity in the latter three countries.

 We know quite well that the dictatorships owe much of their success to lies and the suppression of opinion, but how do we stand here in that respect? The Daily Express says: —

Short story: Gus has a shock

 GUS: You socialists ought to be grateful for the glorious institution of the free press instead of criticising the great newspapers as you do.

WILL: Grateful to whom? The so-called Freedom of the Press is, in reality, painfully limited; but such as it is, it was granted because absolutely necessary to commercial development. Material interests dictated it; not any love of the people. The capitalist class give us nothing but what it is to their interest to give, either to increase their profits or stave off their defeat, and we know from bitter experience that we have most to fear when our enemies profess a regard for us.

GUS: But can you deny that the great daily newspapers are glorious and beneficient institutions, fearlessly standing out for truth and purity in public life?

WILL: I emphatically and entirely deny every word of it!

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